Sony makes huge IoT play, invests $212 million in Altair

Sony makes huge IoT play, invests $212 million in Altair

Sony makes huge IoT play, invests $212 million in Altair

Sony has confirmed its foray into the IoT space with the acquisition of Israeli chipmaker Altair Semiconductor for $212 million.

When the deal is closed in February, the tech giant will have boosted its investment in chip technology. Many see this as Sony expanding its presence in the field of IoT.

The Japanese tech giant will likely use Altair’s chips – which connect devices up to LTE networks – in the its next generation smart machines once the deal is finalised.

The deal could result in Sony producing smart devices that offer consumers more connectivity options. Currently, devices like smartwatches and fitness bands rely on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

If fitted with these chips, they would be able to connect up to mobile networks similarly to smartphones and tablet PCs. This could result in IoT going mobile in the foreseeable future.

Sony has remained quiet on its deal with the chip maker, which suggests that it’s a way for it to get quick and easy access to LTE chips and technologies for future developments.

Altair is currently based in Israel and employs 220 people. The firm also has subsidiaries in China and Taiwan.

Acknowledging the deal, Sony said: “LTE is already widely used in data communication for mobile phones, and is expected to play a pivotal role in the connection of the IoT.

“More and more ‘things’ are expected to be equipped with cellular chipsets, realising a connected environment in which ‘things’ can reliably and securely access network services that leverage the power of cloud computing.”

Paul Shepherd, the founder and CEO of movie analytics firm Tweview, told Internet of Business: “I think a major benefit of Sony’s acquisition and its subsequent entry into IoT will be the number of new data sets it will have at its fingertips.

“Wearables and other IoT devices practically create a data DNA of us and how we go about our daily lives. Coupled with some of Sony’s existing sensor technologies, I think this could pave the way for a new breed of cellular-connected, sensing component devices.”